Lieutenant Brian Alston

Section 3, Lot 374
Beechwood Cemetery, Vaughan


Lieutenant Brian Alston died in July, 1969 at the tender age of 23. Brian Alston was a Red Knight. He was, in fact, the youngest person to become a Red Knight. Who were the Red Knights? They were a band of Canadian Forces pilots (one was appointed each year) who performed solo aerial acrobatics at exhibitions across Canada – the forerunner of today’s Snowbirds. Brian Alston died when his armed forces plane crashed at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. He was attempting to land when his jet flipped and crashed. His full military service here at Beechwood Cemetery included an air salute by a T33 training aircraft and a Tutor jet, the same type of plane in which Alston died. Lieutenant Alston leaves behind a special legacy, for he was one of that select few who “…have slipped the surly bonds of earth…and reached out and touched the face of God.”  (From High Flight by Flying Officer William Gillespie.)